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Archive for August 13th, 2014

Man Pleads Guilty to Kidnapping to Get FBI’s Attention in Salt Lake City

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Robert Joseph Hibbard wanted so much to talk with the FBI about his ex-wife’s death that he took a hostage at the bureau’s Salt Lake City office and demanded to talk to investigators in September 2012.

The 43-year-old pleaded guilty but mentally ill Monday to a kidnapping charge, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Hibbard insisted to investigators that his ex-wife was murdered by her new husband.

His wife, Rashell Langford, died after shooting herself in a suicide pact from which her husband withdrew. The husband was sentenced to 180 days in jail.

Hibbard believed the sentence wasn’t long enough because the new husband wasn’t charged with murder.

Man Wanted on Child Sexual Abuse Charges Identified with FBI’s Facial Recognition Technology

RecognitionSource.net

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s facial recognition technology helped nab a man wanted on child sex abuse charges, Gizmodo reports.

Neil Stammer, who speaks more than 10 languages, was wanted for 14 years and seemed to have no problem evading authorities.

That was until recently when he submitted a visa application at the U.S. Embassy in Nepal under a different name. The facial recognition technology indicated that the visa photo resembled Stammer.

A closer examination determined it was indeed Stammer, who is now in custody and being returned to New Mexico to face child sexual assault charges.

“It could be years until we can accurately pick out a single face in large crowd using this technology, but the days or forged paperwork helping criminals cross borders could well be over,” Gizmodo wrote.

New York Times Editorial: Racial History Behind Protests Over Death of Michael Brown

Michael Brown

By New York Times
Editorial Board

The F.B.I. may be able to answer the many questions surrounding the death of Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black student from Ferguson, Mo., who was a few days from heading off to college when he was shot by a police officer on Saturday. The shooting of Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, led to three days of protest, some of it violent, and several tense confrontations between residents of the St. Louis suburban town of 21,000 and the police.

But it doesn’t take a federal investigation to understand the history of racial segregation, economic inequality and overbearing law enforcement that produced so much of the tension now evident on the streets. St. Louis has long been one of the nation’s most segregated metropolitan areas, and there remains a high wall between black residents — who overwhelmingly have lower incomes — and the white power structure that dominates City Councils and police departments like the ones in Ferguson.

Until the late 1940s, blacks weren’t allowed to live in most suburban St. Louis County towns, kept out by restrictive covenants that the Supreme Court prohibited in 1948. As whites began to flee the city for the county in the 1950s and ’60s, they used exclusionary zoning tactics — including large, single-family lot requirements that prohibited apartment buildings — to prevent blacks from moving in. Within the city, poverty and unrest grew.

By the 1970s, many blacks started leaving the City of St. Louis as well. Colin Gordon, a professor at the University of Iowa who has carefully mapped the metropolitan area’s residential history, said black families were attracted to older, inner-ring suburbs like Ferguson in the northern part of the county because they were built before restrictive zoning tactics and, therefore, allowed apartments.

To read more click here.

Two Influential Senators Demand to See Report on Protections for FBI Whistleblowers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two powerful U.S. senators are getting impatient with a long overdue Justice Department report that is supposed to examine the effectiveness of the FBI’s whistleblower protections for bureau employees.

The Oregonian reports that Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, expressed frustration that the report has not yet been released, even though Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. pledged to deliver a report by April 8, 2013.

Holder submitted the report in June, but no one has turned it over.

“Whistleblowers play a critical role in holding the government and its employees accountable,” Wyden wrote in a joint news release with Grassley. “The FBI has had special rules for its own employees for decades that desperately need to be updated. It’s important for the Justice Department to explain whether they will fix this on their own, or if Congress needs to step in.”

Inspector General: Obama Administration Not Notified of Massive Release of Immigrants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 2,000 immigrants were released from jail because of budget concerns, but the Homeland Security secretary was never notified, according to a critical report from the inspector general.

The Associated Press reports that ICE also poorly planned for the influx of immigrant arrests at the Mexico border and failed to accurately track spending.

Information on the massive release was never shared in advance with political appointees or other White House officials of the implications of the budget cuts, according to the report.

The Obama administration initially denied an AP report about the release of more than 2,000 immigrants, but that’s because there was no knowledge of the situation, the report found.

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